The 1970s was a time where technology was just starting to make its mark on society. That’s why when Xerox wanted to make a Super Bowl commercial about their new elephant sized printer, they decided to do it in a way that will showcase how innovative a machine it really was.
The script they chose for the commercial was about a Catholic scribe who had just finished writing 100’s of copies of scripture. When his priest told him, he needed to make 100 more, he went to the Xerox print shop and came back minutes later, and his priest looked up to the sky and said: “It’s a miracle!” The next commercial was a miracle in its own rights.
In 2008 the world of trending animal videos had just begun and still catches wind until this day. That’s why Bridgestone tires chose to make a commercial that does just that. Bridgestone took Americas most common animal the squirrel and using CGI showed it attempting to get an acorn that fell into the street.
As a car starts speeding towards it, it begins to scream, and sets off a montage of screaming animals from around the block, and ends with the wife screaming in the car as the husband calmly moves the steering wheel to avoid hitting the small creature.
“You Keep Up the Good Work”
FedEx took their own stab at a Super Bowl in 2003 with their genius metaphor of excellent service in the form of a castaway delivery guy who just made it back to the mainland after being stranded on an island.
He declared to the woman at the door that he swore an oath to get the package to the woman no matter what! When did he ask her what’s inside? She pulled out all the equipment he would have needed to survive being stranded on an island!
“Clash of Clans” Revenge
When popular gaming app “Clash of Clans” was deliberating on how to make a funny Superbowl commercial that will bring more gamers, they decided to bring action movie star Liam Neeson to play his stereotype character of a man that’s not to mess with.
The commercial starts with live gameplay that ends with Neeson losing to another online player. Liam then gets interrupted mid-monologue to be told that his coffee is ready as the barista pronounces his name wrong.
Not Really for Men
In the early 70s, women still used hairspray. Lots, and lots of hairsprays! But hairspray would make their hair brittle and very damaged. So, when Vitalis launched their hairspray “for men,” they actually meant to market it for women.
In the Superbowl ad for “Vitalis Dry Control,” a woman is seen in a locker room explaining to women that the hair spray is made for men but works for women too. Therefore, it works better and is less damaging to the hair.
Dove Self Esteem Foundation
Dove wanted to showcase their NGO the Dove Self Esteem Foundation in 2006 and launched a Superbowl ad that would bring tears to every mother and father’s eyes. Shots of young girls, of all shapes and sizes expressing their feelings about their looks, smarts, or strength.
Superbowl ads are some of the most viewed advertisements in the world because of the endless breaks in the game. So, no one wants to leave the TV in case the game comes back on. Great way to convey a message to the masses.
Matt Damon was chosen by veteran beer organization Stella Artois, to showcase their new NGO “Water.org.” Damon starts with a monologue explaining that today Americans have it easy, and are able to get clean water “at the turn of a tap.”
He then describes that millions of people in the developing world walk up to six hours every day just to get water. He then explains that if only 1% of everyone watching buys a limited-edition Stella chalice than 1 million people can get clean water.
The 2001 Superbowl was an especially emotional Superbowl compared to past championship games. Americans were still mourning the World Trade Center tragedy, and companies like Budweiser decided to have a more modest commercial given the atmosphere.
Budweiser launched a simple, lineless ad showing a herd of Clydesdale horses carrying an old Budweiser delivery cart, and bowing down towards the city of New York in memorial of the Twin Towers.
Where’s the Beef!
In 1984 fast-food chain Wendy’s was keen on showcasing their competitions faults in a commercial showing three old ladies admiring the fluffiness of a burger patty, and then being annoyed that there is little beef in-between.
They then start screaming “hey where’s the beef!” To where Wendy’s narrator starts to explain that Wendy’s “Single,” has more meat than all the other fast food burgers in existence.
In 1997, Nissan had launched a great commercial that both pokes fun at pigeons, the movie Top Gun, and gives value to the speed of their vehicles. The first shot is of talking pigeons on the prowl talking to one another like pilots, looking for a clean car to poop on.
They then come across a Nissan that had just left a car wash. They then rush towards the vehicle, with the Top Gun soundtrack playing in the background trying to catch the car. When the lead pigeon takes a dive, he crashes into the garage and asks for a medic.
Chauvinism in the ’80s
During the late 80’s it was still acceptable in society to have commercials that objectify women. Pepsi held an ad with then-famous Michael J. Fox where he gets a knock on the door late at night from a tall skinny girl who asks him for a Pepsi.
He then dances around the hallway and realizes he doesn’t have Pepsi for the girl. So, he then jumps down the fire escape in the rain to get her a can, only to come back to see that her equally good-looking roommate would like a can too.
In 2002 Energy quench drink company “Gatorade” launched a Superbowl ad where Michael Jordon plays a One on One game against his 23-year-old self.
The company would actually take shots from his old commercials and write dialogue to match the lines he had. What came out was a masterpiece showing the two Jordon’s picking fun at one another in his classic competitive spirit
Celebrating American Greatness
In their 1991 Superbowl commercial, Nike decided to invest a bit of money and bring some star shots into their ad.
Showing star athlete moments from legends like John MacEnroe, Andre Agassi, Kirk Gibson, and Michael Jordon. The commercial would show all their accomplishing moments and end with the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”
Bold and Brave
Toyota wanted to show to the world that their new Camry model was the boldest car model yet, and wanted to show the most courageous people of all to showcase that; athletes with disabilities.
The commercial shows Paralympian snowboarding champion, Amy Purdy, killing it on the slopes, with a monologue about greatness in the background.
In 2017’s Super Bowl LI, the NFL wanted to post a commercial during prime time that would pay respects to the passing of American legend Muhammad Ali who had passed away in the summer of 2016.
It would show different films of Ali fighting in the ring, and then pan off to other great NFL players, all with a monologue meant to be Ali’s voice talking about what it means to be great.
When pads company “Always” wanted to make a commercial. They did so intending to appeal to both young women and their mothers. They asked adults and teens to run, throw, and punch like a girl.
The result was insulting and exposed what it’s like to be a girl too many young boys watching the game. When young girls were told to perform the same task, the result changed and running like a girl meant being fast, strong, and powerful. “Always” then writes the following, “A girls confidence plummets during puberty. But it doesn’t have to.”
This is the Motor City
In 2011, “Chrysler” teamed up with rap mogul Eminem to showcase their new car model, the “Chrysler” 200. The commercial starts with Eminem driving around Detroit with a monologue being narrated in the background, and the song 8 miles accompanied with it.
Eminem then pulls up at a theatre where a gospel choir is singing, then Eminem gets up on stage and says, “this is the motor city, and this is what we do.”